Nathan Jennings was in high school when his teacher asked him to prepare a synthesis essay. He didn’t have a clear idea on how to put this type of essay together. After several vain attempts, he found some clarity on this type of essay.
Working on a synthesis essay may not seem easy, but once you devote some time trying to understand the process, then the process becomes more convenient. With that thought, we’ve discussed everything about the synthesis essay in fine detail that you may find useful.
What is a synthesis essay?
A synthesis is a written discussion that includes support from multiple sources of differing views. This type of essay paper requires that you evaluate a variety of sources and recognise their connection to your thesis statement.
A synthesis essay is a type of work that maintains a unique perspective about a central theme, idea, or topic and supports that perspective with a combination of multiple sources. The process of preparing this type of essay consists of four major components: Synthesising sources, composing a thesis or claim, formatting the essay.
How to write a good synthesis essay
Select a suitable for your synthesis essay
Your topic has to be broad enough for presenting several resources together, but not too broad so as to present widely disparate sources together. If you have the liberty to pick your own topic, some primary reading may help you decide what to write about. However, if you’re writing a synthesis essay for class, you’ll probably be assigned a topic or have to choose from a list.
For instance, rather than writing on a broad topic of social media, you could discuss your ideas on how social media has been utilised in recent time for bringing positive change.
Pick and read your sources carefully
Ideally, you should select a minimum of three sources for your essay. If you get some time after you study each of these sources properly, it’d be nice to learn one or two extra resources. Search for material within your sources that connect the reason for writing your essay.
Remember that it’s better to incorporate three sources well than to include five sources incorrectly. Annotate each source by writing important notes in the margins. This lets you keep track of your train of thought, developing ideas, etc.
Prepare a thesis statement
Once you have read the sources you are provided with or have done your own outside research, you will have to come up with an opinion on your topic. Your thesis statement will be the main idea related to the topic of your essay.
It should revolve around the topic and state your perspective on that topic. It must be stated as a complete sentence. Based on the requirement of your essay, your thesis statement can be the last sentence of the first paragraph.
Prepare the synthesis essay structure
You can either create a formal outline or just plan it in your head, but you must determine how to present your material for the best effect. If you are writing this paper for class, you must know that the professors expect you to follow a specific structure. The structure of this type of essays include–
- Introductory section
- Body paragraphs
Write your first draft based on the structure
You can deviate from the original structure when writing the draft if you find new ideas and details in your source material that supports your thesis statement. If you are working on the synthesis essay for class, you’ll not have time to write more than one draft, so you need to quickly prepare the draft and ensure its quality.
Your essay should have an introduction that includes your thesis statement, the main body to present evidence that highlights your thesis statement, and a conclusion that sums up your point of view.
Write in the third person
Writing your synthesis essay in the third person means using “she,” “he,” “it”, and using complete, clear sentences. Present sufficient information to highlight the credibility of the topic of your essay.
You must write the essay in active voice as much as possible, although the passive voice is acceptable in places where you would use first (“I”) or second person (“you”).
Cite your source material
For most essay papers, this means using footnotes to cite material in the main body of your essay and a bibliography of cited resources at the end. Footnotes and in-text citations should be incorporated for any paraphrased, quoted, or cited materials.
If you’re preparing this type of essay for class, you’ll be required to use a specific style of citation, but you’ll have to mention which source you used after you cite it.
Proofread your synthesis essay
Read through your essay and find any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors. Check if all of the names and proper nouns are spelt correctly and if there are any run-on sentences or fragments. Correct these them as you continue to proofread your paper.
Read the paper loudly, as that will guarantee that you don’t mistakenly add in or remove words when reading in your head. In fact, you can get a friend or classmate to proofread your essay as well.
A quick synthesis essay dos and don’ts
- Do study the topic carefully and understand the objective behind writing it. Understand the whole idea behind the topic.
- Don’t incorporate only one source in your academic essay. Have multiple sources to support the ideas or arguments.
- Do sum up your sources and document them. While writing the essay, you develop your ideas in reference to the sources, so it’s crucial for you to study them individually.
- Don’t write the essay too rigidly. Maintain a flexible approach when writing the essay to accommodate the change in future. You may need to present more ideas or simply remove some.
Keep all these ideas in mind when you’re preparing a synthesis essay for class. These ideas will help you with every step of your essay. Make sure these ideas are effective so that you turn in a high quality paper.
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- Comparison essay
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- Reflective essay
- Definition essay
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